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Research

Repository Storage Core

The JHBR Repository Core is a state-of-the-art cryogenic storage facility located on Shannon Drive in Baltimore, Maryland (3 miles from JHSPH). Biological specimens are stored in high capacity vapor phase liquid nitrogen cryogenic storage tanks. Currently, 64 LifeScience Lab Series cryogenic units, by Worthington Industries (formerly Taylor Wharton), are maintained with 24-hour, 365-day security and daily temperature monitoring. The units are designed to efficiently hold over 900 standard 9X9 or 10X10 cryogenic boxes, or over 75,000 2ml cryovials. Cryogenic units not only provide ample storage and temperature security, but have also helped JHBR meet and exceed JHSPH’s goals for energy efficiency. The over 2.5 million samples at the Repository are monitored 24/7 by two redundant unit alarm monitoring systems capable of alerting a repository staff member to a potential problem any time day or night.

Cryos and TankJHBR Repository

Data Management:

JHBR uses Freezerworks (FW), a top of the line sample cataloging software. Each aliquot created in the JHBR laboratories is labeled with a FW label. This label includes information such as sample ID, sample date, sample type and can endure temperatures colder than -190, is resistant to ethanol, and wear and tear. Every label contains a bar code that is used to scan the aliquot into FW, which allows every aliquot to be tracked and linked to the sample record data. Additionally, FreezerWorks is capable of tracking all relevant sample data, positioning individual aliquots within each box and freezer, and can now be accessed real-time by outside researchers via a secured URL.

Sample Handling and Retrieval:

All specimens trusted to JHBR laboratories and repositories are handled with the same standard of excellence. JHBR strives to maintain sample integrity through proper technique and highly trained staff utilizing the latest in cryogenic and automated platforms. Once specimens are frozen, they are transferred from working freezers into the cryogenic repository at a constant -80 degrees C to avoid degradation in sample quality due to temperature fluctuations. The same is true when specimens are requested for retrieval.

In conjunction with JHBR's short and long-term storage, specimen retrieval and shipping is another specialty. This may involve pulling and shipping specimens or aliquotting daughter tubes. Following strict standard operating procedures, JHBR ensures the protection of sample integrity and identification for each tube. Specimens can be shipped to local, national or international locations anywhere in the world on either dry ice or liquid nitrogen for cryopreserved cells. JHBR lab staff is fully IATA certified to meet national and international regulations for biologic specimen transfer.